These tall canvas paintings, recently discovered in a chateau near Lille, France, are set within rectangular wood (walnut) frames with canted corners and multiple layers of molding, including a gilded innermost border. Signed and dated 1879 (the signature appears to read “Monchablon”, as in Alphonse Monchablon), the canvases have a neutral beige color, which allows the bright clothing of the figures depicted to become more noticeable. The figures are allegories of autumn and winter and would have decorated both sides of a staircase in the French chateau.
In one painting, a distinguished and heavily bearded man (“old man winter”, as denoted by the frost in his beard) commands attention as he stands tall with one hand on his hip and a spear in the other, with a small knife securely fastened to his red hip sash. His attire, adorned with red and gold embellishments, peeks out from beneath a silvery blue cloak, while his brown poulines with calf-high cuffs complete the regal ensemble. The second canvas introduces a barefooted woman (Autumnus) with a crown of leaves and grapes, gracefully holding two fiaschi of wine, each securely nestled in woven baskets. Her attire is a striking blend of gold, green, and brown, and her long flowing dress is complemented by exquisitely rendered translucent sleeves and an apron. Both paintings are enriched by sparse foliate accents, featuring delicate white highlights that frame the figures. These 19th-century figurative paintings are seven feet tall and would be commanding art installations.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with some minor pinprick holes. Very light age separations to wood and light rubs and losses to gilding. Rigged for hanging. Signed and dated in the lower right corner.